Music Review: Blue Hawaii – Untogether

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Blue-Hawaii-UntogetherReleased: March 5th, 2013
Label: Arbutus Records

Montreal duo Raphaelle Standell-Preston of BRAIDS and Alexander Cowan, who goes by Agor, wrote much of Untogether apart, making the album slightly disjointed at times but ultimately fascinating. Starting with the over five minute stunner, “Follow,” Raphaelle’s vocals already soar effortlessly backed by soft electronics and looping. “Try To Be” is records most intimate track. It’s organic and soul bearing with lyrics like “But I thought I’d be you/But I’ll never be/May as well just be me.” The next two tracks “In Two” and “In Two II” are electro-pop at its best, dizzying and slightly unsettling. “Sierra Lift” is a fantastic track that I am not ashamed to admit I have listened to on repeat for hours. The track calls out “Someone come and lift me out of here/I just want to go to sleep” playing on the album’s theme of isolation and distance. Ending with “The Other Day,” the record slows, Agor’s electronics soften to a whisper and Raphaelle’s vocals are allowed to croon hauntingly, “The other day I had a beautiful thought/What if I didn’t really care at all?” It’s a freeing thought and a freeing track. Untogether is a triumph, both absolutely beautiful and subtly confusing throughout.

Review by Jill Stephenson

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